iamb, n.: Some days, every short unstressed moment seems to be followed by a long one full of stress.
iatrogenic, adj.: How scary to think that the attempt to cure can lead to further pain for us.
iceblink, n.: It is always good to have a reminder of sky.
icebreaker, n.: “So,” you said that first date, making fun of other dates, “why don’t you tell me a little more about me?”
iconic, adj.: In the same way that I could never decide on a tattoo, there’s no one object that sums you up in any satisfying way to me.
idea, n.: My mind is a quirky inventor. Sometimes it sees clearly, and sometimes it gets lost in its own devices.
ideal, n.: Foolish to think I knew what I wanted. You’ve surprised me; I’ve surprised myself. An ideal is a hypothesis always proven wrong.
identical, adj.: I don’t want our clothes or friends or dreams to be the same. I just want, every now and then, to have the same thought.
identify, v.: To name, and by naming, to hope to relate.
identity, n.: I will never solely be someone who loves you, but I will always be someone who loves you.
idiolect, n.: The phrases that will always be yours whenever I hear them, like “gosh darn” and “cool beans” and “true blue.”
idiopathic, adj.: Love’s a trickster making you believe it’s appeared suddenly, when really the core of it has been there all along.
idle, adj.: It’s pleasant to be standing still, but only for a certain amount of time.
idol, n.: Love cannot be worship, because worship can never be equal.
idyll, n.: The quiet of the country house; I stretch out and find you awake.
if, conj.: It only takes two letters to open up all the alternatives, for better or worse.
igneous, adj.: The molten rage, when it cools down, becomes a part of our awkwardly shaped foundation.
ignite, v.: This is tricky because we are both paper and we are both flame.
ignominious, adj,: Fighting in front of our friends always makes it feel like more of a failure, a disproving of our maturity and sense.
ignore, v.: The people who love you will not disappear quietly. We refuse to be contained by any blind spot.
illegible, adj.: Love often gets lost in the translation from the written to the read, so care must be taken in the writing.
illogical, adj.: To commit to another person, you have to renounce of your own sense of the sequential, the deductive, and the predictable.
illuminate, v.: We are written in light.
illusion, n.: Our fantasties manifest, and we encounter them, for a moment, as real.
illustration, n.: We need a break in the words. We need to stop and look at the picture, and silently take in the details.
illustrious, adj.: You want to be the famous one of all your friends, and work the bar to make us all know it.
imagery, n.: Two toothbrushes leaning into each other; clothes entwined in the laundry basket; shoes waiting side by side at the door.
imaginable, adj.: I don’t need you to believe in everything, but I want to you to allow that anything is possible.
imaginary, adj.: The ability to picture things that aren’t there; that is the true friend.
imaginative, adj.: The nights we were too lazy or too cash-starved, and had butter sandwiches for dinner, pretending it was Turkish delight.
imagine, v.: Love asks this of you, time and again – to conjure the better from the worse, to push beyond evidence to a more eloquent grace.
imbalance, n.: If equal affections cannot be, then the more loving one is definitely me.
imbecile, n.: I worry that I am so fascinated by the reaction to wounds that I inflict them only to see what will happen next.
imbibe, v.: You drink to empty yourself, but the demons refuse to leave.
imbroglio, n.: The beach is made of quicksand, the coastline teasingly out of reach.
imitation, n.: You think I’m boyfriend material, but I worry that if you look too closely, you’ll see I’m emotional polyester.
immaculacy, n.: I cannot conceive of why anyone would want to live in a place that didn’t look lived in.
immature, adj.: I use my sticks and stones to assail the allegation that you are rubber and I am nothing but glue.
immeasurable, adj.: The number of heartbeats we’ve shared; the points of connection between us, as plentiful as the nerves in our skin.
immediacy, n.: Feelings never happen at a distance.
immensity, n.: I cannot think of anything larger in my life than my love for you.
immerse, v.: Once you jump in you cannot jump in again; you must swim forward or swim deep, make yourself at home in this river of ours.
immodest, adj.: “I am the motherfrocking princess!” we sing along, one of us wanting to believe it, the other feeling it’s pretty true.
immolate, v.: The love that burns will eventually die or kill, so I would rather aim for the steady life of warmth.
immortal, adj.: Anything that lives on gives us a glimpse of this.
immune, adj.: To ignore the naysaying around you in order to hear the yaysaying within you.
immutable, adj.: Nothing’s going to change my love.
impact, n.: You were the collision I didn’t see coming, but once it happened, the force was great enough to both alter and connect.
impairment, n.: Love will not stay silent. Even when it is forced to be wordless or soundless, it will find a way to be known.
impart, v.: My grandmother believed in dessert at lunch, that you have to treat yourself just for the furtive joy of having a treat.
impartial, adj.: The judgment we’re not able to have for each other, because there is always a part of us within the person we judge.
impasse, n.: When the road of tenderness runs out of gravel, we idle at the edge, pondering the wilderness of our affections.
impatient, adj.: I wanted to make out, yes, but more than that, I wanted you to decide to go home with me.
impeach, v.: The heart, the mind, and the groin act as different branches, and every now and then one foments an overthrow of another.
impeckable, adj.: Kissing at just the right spot.
impecunious, adj.: Some nights we’d leave our wallets at home and just take our keys, safe that wandering and talking would be enough.
impenetrable, adj.: I can make you do something you don’t want to do, but I can’t make you do it as if you want to do it.
imperfection, n.: Everything exists in this state.
impermanence, n.: Everything also exists in this state.
impersonal, adj.: Never look at me like I could be anybody. Never treat me like what I do could be done by anyone else.
impersonation, n.: You dressed up like Dolly so you could strut your stuff with abandon. I dressed like Laura Palmer to haunt the party.
impertinence, n.: The desire to push the haters’ faces into the mess that is your life, to confront them with the rude truths you bear.
impervious, adj.: Cupid can’t get through to me; my skin is arrowproof. If love is going to happen, its trajectory must begin from within.
impetuous, adj.: It’s okay for me to throw myself at you as long as I have a mischievous smile on my face while I do it.
impish, adj.: I want to make your life easier, but every now and then, I also want to tease or trick you into place.
implausible, adj.: And they all lived happily ever after.
implicit, adj.: After a certain point, my love for you should be understood as present, like air or time.
implode, v.: The strongest pressure is that which is exerted within.
implore, v.: More than anything else, I want you to listen. I want you present, I want you honest, and I want you to listen to me.
impolite, adj.: Calling attention to nose hairs, infatuations with pop songs, mismatched socks, or an affinity for five-dollar words.
important, adj.: By treating everyone in our lives well, we make the world better.
impose, v.: I see the rhetorical cages you spring, and I want you to know that you may get my defeat that way, but you’ll never get my love.
impossibilist, n.: It’s no fun to be with you when you only see what can’t be done.
imposter, n.: Yours are the thoughts that break into my mind and pretend they’re my own.
impracticalities, n.: You come home with a bright red chair, twice the size of our bedroom, and say we have to keep it because it was free.
impress, v.: Your good qualities leave an imprint on those who admire them.
impression, n.: My excitement is usually directly related to my intimidation, but with you there was only excitement.
impressionistic, adj.: Clouds in the room. Breath on my back. Diagonal sunlight. Horizontal silence. Door in the distance. Sideways blue.
imprint, v.: There we are, still in bed, even after we rise.
improve, v.: In relationships, there are always things that need to be fixed, but the house still stands with them broken.
improvise, v.: I’d come home to find you’d rewritten our junk mail, spelling out your love in credit card applications and Target coupons.
impudent, adj.: I found you were answering for me, and it didn’t matter whether you got the answer right or wrong.
impulse, n.: When it comes to you, I often leap before checking out the other side.
inability, n.: Even if it’s my own language, sometimes I can’t make the words make sense. I stare at you, trapped by my incomprehension.
inaccessible, adj.: When we fight, I kick away all the ramps and ladders that lead to how I really feel.
inaccurate, adj.: Love solves everything.
inadequate, adj.: The nagging feeling that I’m a C-minus and you deserve at least a B-plus.
inadmissible, adj.: I can, in fact, use anything you say against you.
inadvisable, adj.: Texting after 2AM is rarely a good idea.
inane, adj.: Our first concert, you said, “Let’s never be that couple that spends the whole concert making out,” and I knew we had a future.
inarticulate, adj.: See how love jumps all over the tongue – sweet, sour, bitter, salty – without landing on the words I want to say.
inattentive, adj.: Our relationship is a glass house, and you’re staring out the windows.
inaudible, adj.: I fall asleep and you aren’t there, then wake up and you’re there, and I feel a double gratitude.
inbox, n.: Refuge and prison, happy vessel and dread depository – do I hold it or does it hold me?
incandesce, v.: You are the light of the far-off town, the promise on the dark path.
incantation, n.: Let this be love, and let love be this.
incapable, adj.: I can no more roll my tongue than I can make the right words roll off of it.
incapacitated, adj.: When the doubt knifes into certainty that this will never work, it cuts across everything but the artery of despair.
incendiary, adj.: “If you leave, you’ll be happier!” you yell. Then, getting to the point, you say, “And I’ll be happier too.”
incentivize, v.: We vowed to never use sex as a reward, but it certainly informs our negotiations.
inchoate, adj.: Hard as it is to believe, these are still our early years.
indecent, adj.: “I want to dip you in butter and eat you up,” you say, to make the woman in the seat next to me stop listening.
indefatigable, adj.: I will fight for you. I will slay the dragons, banish the demons, and even step on the spiders, when I have to.
indefinite, adj.: I hold love to the same standard I whole life, not letting the fear of an end inhibit the fullness of the present.
independence, n.: I focused so long on my own freedom that it was hard to realize that a couple must work together to earn its freedom, too.
indicator, n.: We both sifted through our first conversations to find the telltale signs that our lives could align.
indifference, n.: The sameness of reaction that greets everything I say to you on the days you’ve checked out.
indignant, adj.: When it’s more important for you to be righteous than right.
indiscreet, adj.: I didn’t have a notebook in which to scribble your name again and again, but I scribbled it into all my conversations.
indispensible, adj.: You are not my heart. You are more like a kidney, or an arm. I could live without you, but I’d rather not.
indisputable, adj.: Yes, our emotions duke it out, but love is the defending champion, and even when it’s grueling, it takes the match.
individual, adj.: It often astonishes me that among billions of people, I am the only me in the world.
indivisible, adj.: You can find ‘invisible’ within this word, and I don’t want that ever.
indoctrinate, v.: You said we could never truly be together until I’d watched all four seasons of The Wire.
indoors, adj.: “Sex,” you stated, “requires air-conditioning.”
indubitably, adv.: Truthfulness need not be earnest; sometimes it can play like be-bop across your lips.
induction, n.: After a month, you enter the pantheon, the Hall of Fame where all the other members have the asterisk of an ex.
indulge, v.: To go farther than you think you should … or at least farther than you think other people think you should.
ineffectual, adj.: I know you can’t build a house out of words, but I hang to the hope that they can provide the architecture of love.
ineligible, adj.: All the cynics in my heart are eager to disqualify you, to prove your identity false, your license expired.
ineptitude, n.: Every morning, there are at least three things for me to remember when I leave, and I am destined to forget at least one.
inequality, n.: Love has no separate entrances and no separate laws.
inertia, n.: Both of us are too tired to change the channel.
inevitable, adj.: There are no exceptions to the rule of ending, so the leeway comes in how you love nonetheless.
inexorable, adj.: Pieces linked long enough tend to fuse.
inexperience, n.: Join me as we tumble and fumble our way toward balance and grace.
infallible, adj.: I do not expect this of you, and you should not expect it of yourself.
infatuation, n.: Gorging on romantic possibility until it takes up all the room of everything else; not healthy.
infectious, adj.: If hope is the thing with feathers, they certainly tickle more when you’re with someone you love.
infer, v.: Our past educates my guessing.
inferior, adj.: There you are, taking bows on your ever-present center stage. I don’t even feel like a supporting actor; I’m your stagehand.
infiltrate, v.: This is how love travels, not a flood but a slow accumulation. So much of me is now you, and it happened over time.
infinite, adj.: Our love is greater than our comprehension.
infinitesimal, adj.: Your arm rests on top of mine on the bus ride home, and I find such happiness in this small, unspoken contact.
inflexible, adj.: When we’re tense, we cannot bend. We stop being people and start becoming furniture. We need to loosen.
inflict, v.: It is so much easier to forgive the accidental woundings.
influence, v.: Once I met you, self-destruction became a little less tempting.
informal, adj.: Let your shoes drop anywhere in the apartment. I like you better barefoot.
information, n.: Worthless without interpretation.
infrastructure, n.: The things we build together are often invisible to the people who look at us.
infringe, v.: To finish the ice-cream I bought without me even getting a scoop.
infuriate, v.: I see the Furies on your shoulders, whispering not to trust me, yelling to stop me from doing what I’m doing.
infuse, v.: When you’re in love you can taste it in your coffee, hear it on the radio, smell it in the trees.
ingratiate, v.: I separated the wheat from the chaff amongst your friends, and then made sure to tell the wheat that they were the wheat.
ingratitude, n.: If negativity sometimes tightens around your neck, remember not to disdain the air that keeps you breathing.
inhabit, v.: You can make me feel like our relationship is a place I just happen to be living in, another temporary resident of your life.
inhale, v.: To fill yourself with the intangible, and take life in the process.
inherent, adj.: The plates connected long before I arrived; if I feel the faults, I’ve also learned to build flexibily to withstand them.
inherit, v.: One day all of this will be yours, and then another day none of it will be yours.
inhibition, n.: Even in the most private spaces, I feel the eye of ridicule; it’s up to you to draw the curtains and show me that I’m safe.
inimical, adj.: Time will inevitably bring damage, but if we embrace that damage as simply change, then it will not become harm.
inimitable, adj.: Are you the best kisser or the best person I’ve ever kissed? Either way, your kiss is like no other.
iniquity, n.: You weren’t planning on inviting me over; you pointed to all the dishes in the sink and said, “I try to contain the iniquity.”
initiation, n.: In those first dates, it’s not just passing the test that’s important – it’s figuring out what the test is.
injure, v.: You never rip my heart out. You just squeeze and bruise it.
inkling, n.: I noticed the spots on the side of your hand, the pen’s effort smudged by hasty handwriting, and sensed you were my type.
inlet, n.: I kiss the shallows were your neck meets your chest, and feel the surface shiver.
innate, adj.: There is a non-negotiable me that will never change, no matter how hard you or I try to convince it otherwise.
innermost, adj.: I have to stop thinking of it as a secret and start thinking of it as a truth.
innervate, v.: To need the person you love to feel you acutely.
innocent, adj.: No one exists unlblemished by experience. We experience from the day we’re born, and carry that with us.
innocuous, adj.: If I say the first thing that comes to my head instead of the best thing that comes to my head it’s rarely in mean spirits.
innuendo, n.: Do you prefer tackle or two-hand touch?
inoculant, n.: Sometimes you need to inject a little anger or pain in order for the love to strengthen in defense.
inoffensive, adj.: When I see you using delicate words, I want to smash them, because I know I’ll find more truth in the broken pieces.
inopportune, adj.: I only had two pages left to read in the novel; I know I shouldn’t have made you wait, but one has to have priorities.
input, n.: If you want to contribute, treat it like conversation, not computation.
insatiable, adj.: There are limits to how much I want to have you around, but there are no bounds on my desire to know you’re there.
inscription, n.: I want to write our names on the inside of a ring.
inscrutable, adj.: I tell you I want to write our names on the inside of a ring and you say, “Not our initials?”
insecurity, n.: If you really knew me, you’d never want to know me.
insensate, adj.: When you talk in your sleep, I wonder if the words you say make sense in the dream, or if you are scattering there, too.
insensitive, adj.: Just because you’ve numbed yourself to other people, it doesn’t mean the other people are numb, too.
inseparable, adj.: Everything is separable; it’s just a question of whether you can survive the separation.
insight, n.: How telling that there isn’t anything called “outsight,” as if language itself knows the direction that wisdom must come from.
insignificance, n.: There are moments that will pass and moments that will add, and the key to love is knowing the difference.
insincere, adj.: When you use words as devices of placation, they read the wrong color.
insinuate, v.: I can be the master of the cowardly accusation, gathering the flowers so I can deliver the knife. Call me on this.
insipid, adj.: After our days of work, sometimes we need to retreat into our reality-TV brains, to deal absurdity that’s not our own.
insist, v.: Once you build the relationship on love, you must require at least some of it to remain, in order for it not to be unbuilt.
insomnia, n.: You sleep as I am tortured by the lack of it, twisting on the rack of no control.
inspiration, n.: When observation bends back into me, and as a result I feel closer to myself, closer to you, and closer to the world.
instantaneous, adj.: First thought may not always be best thought, but it’s always a telling thought.
instead, adv.: If you try to live in alternatives, you will lose your present tense.
instigate, v.: “You’re being silly” is a serious accusation that will require me to seriously prove you wrong.
instill, v.: At any given moment, I can feel joy or fear, and you not only tip the balance but readjust the scale toward love.
instinctive, adj.: To trust yourself even when you don’t trust yourself.
instruct, v.: Teach me how to do things rather than tell me how to do them.
instrumental, adj.: You are the tune that propels me, the score that settles me.
insubordination, n.: I insisted I knew where we were going, but I could see you checking the map on your phone
insufferable, adj.: Your passive aggressive negatives: I won’t say I didn’t tell you so. No offense. I know it’s none of my business but.
insularity, n.: Let’s never be the kind of couple whose “us” doesn’t include our friends and the other people we care about.
insult, n.: The black hole of anxiety that forms when the thing that was funny is not funny to you.
insurance, n.: I don’t want maturity if it means being the beneficiary of your misfortune.
insurmountable, adj.: My love can withstand anything, short of you not loving me.
intact, adj.: We go through tremors but never unleash the full quake.
intangible, adj.: The best parts of us are the ones that are impossible to touch.
integrity, n.: I will not pretend to be someone else in order to make you love someone I ultimately am not.
intellectual, adj.: When you step back from life to analyze it, you may see it more clearly, but you’ll also be farther away.
intelligent, adj.: When you think from the mind instead of from the heart. Only some situations call for this.
intend, v.: Even when things go wrong, I can find the thread of what you meant to go right, and use that to rescue us.
intensify, v.: The magnets provide that layer of resistance, but once through, we speed toward contact.
intercede, v.: Sometimes when I pass judgment on myself, I need you to file an appeal.
intercept, v.: I wish someone would send me a letter so scandalous that I’d have to watch the mail each day to prevent you from seeing it.
interchangeable, adj.: I don’t ever want to feel like I’m your stand-in, or to see the disappointment when it’s discovered that I’m not you.
interconnected, adj.: Words from each of us fall into the same paragraphs, share the same story.
interested, adj.: I can tell when you put your own thoughts aside long enough to focus on mine.
interference, n.: Sometimes our love is the static cloud, but more often it’s the line of clarity that cuts through the intruding cacophony.
interim, adj.: I take it as a good sign that I’m haunted by your exes, but not by the hypothetical next person you’ll be with.
interior, n.: You hang the memories on the wall, but only look at them every now and then.
interjection, n.: There’s no other place I get my WOW! from more often than from my love for you.
interlard, v.: The compliment that is meant to grease is never as effective as the compliment meant to shine light.
interloper, n.: Love is the tender trespass, the unexpected arrival of someone else in a part of you that you never meant to be shared.
intermezzo, n.: I like it when we fall away from the plot, and just move in music from one place to the next.
internalize, v.: The things you say to me take shape within me: the adamantine edges of criticism alongside the welcome wells of praise.
interpretation, n.: I will never be anything to you but your version of me.
interrogate, v.: What does it mean that the question I want to ask you the most is “Why do you love me?”
intersection, n.: We strive to meet but never cross.
intervene, v.: I count on you to be the balance when I weigh on myself too much.
intimacy, n.: While I am aware that love radiates, I feel it most when it converges.
into, prep.: This into that, that into this; love is the thing that travels from within to within.
intolerable, adj.: Your silence when there is a need for words. I beg for them, and you leave farther than the sound of my voice.
intonation, n.: I question the constants of your consonants, and disavow your vowels.
intoxicating, adj.: To be with you at two in the morning, all my senses reach out and coming back with color.
intuition, n.: Nothing else is reliable, so might as well go with this.
invade, v.: I will not put myself in your life uninvited.
inveigh, v.: Let us face the hostile without hostility, and instead undermine them with our calm resolve.
invention, n.: Every pair is a machine uniquely designed to repair its world.
inventory, n.: Cleaning out your apartment, we kept finding rolls of scotch tape. “I always thought I was out,” you said.
inversion, n.: Love is best if, at any given moment, you don’t know which of you loves the most.
invest, v.: I spend my time to accrue your interest.
investigate, v.: When I wake you up to ask what the noises are, you don’t question it, and sound tender when you return to say we’re safe.
inveterate, adj.: I lie to myself all the time about how often I lie.
invidious, adj.: “This isn’t like you!” you tell me, and I scream that it’s unfair of you to compare me to my better self.
invigorate, v.: You fill yourself with loud music to inspire loud music of your own; I need quiet to give me energy to face the noise.
invincible, adj.: Nested into the home we make, I can believe that the clouds will not crash into us, that the quicksand is slow enough.
inviolable, adj.: I don’t want to share that vow until I am sure I can guarantee it.
invisible, adj.: I don’t want to be seen on the street, but you like being looked at.
invitation, n.: Being part of a couple means negotiating the evening plans, prioritizing the birthdays and the brides.
invocation, n.: In my hours of need, I will summon your love.
involvement, n.: “So you’ve become involved?” a friend asked, and I said, “Yes, I’m no longer a bystander in this.”
inward, adj.: Tonight, the tidal force of love pulls all my thoughts in this direction.
iota, n.: When it comes to doubt, why look for the needle in the haystack? What threat is there, really, of a needle in a haystack?
ire, v.: When anger turns hot enough to be molten, it is forged into a weapon that will inevitably be used.
irksome, adj.: Do the fucking dishes.
irony, n.: I thought love would bring me peace of mind, but instead it unleashed a new, confusing menagerie of things to think about.
irrational, adj.: You give me reassurances, and all I can do is wonder why you feel the need to give me reassurances.
irreconcilable, adj.: You have given up, but I have not.
irreducible, adj.: Love is a merging that defies diminishment. We will not fall through the cracks of our own lives if we hold on.
irrelevant, adj.: What other people say, if they’re wrong.
irreparable, adj.: The missing piece that falls off every time we break. So small it can never be found, but crucial enough to be missed.
irresistible, adj.: I love you like a tongue loves salt.
irreverent, adj.: “I don’t like the dynamic of worship,” you told me, fourth date. “I want a power that’s beside me, not above me.”
irritable, adj.: You’ve become the fly in the room – the annoying and unnecessary pester that I cannot avoid.
is, v.: I give you my will, am no longer my was. The now we have together is the now we are together.
isobaric, adj.: By lowering the pressure, we find we can connect.
isolation, v.: I feel I am not here, and no matter what I do, I can never really get here, where everyone else is.
italicize, v.: You slant the words to me, in the hope that they’ll make a better entry that way.
itch, n.: Seven years? Ha. Try seven times an hour.
itinerary, n.: Where we best lay our plans, even if they approximate our aims more than our actual nature.